Gee whiz... I'm glad there's some comic banter over here. I try to frequent comic-specific boards, but they're usually waayyy too pissy and moany about creators and "I'm dropping this title" crap. This joint/message board is generally full of higher quliaty posters...so, yay!
No real substance to this, but considering the series is named Identity CRISIS...would Psycho Pirate be a possibility?
For Disasembled: I've been reading Avengers since I was five and I'm glad the phrase "The old order changeth" is FINALLY holding true. I remember being psyched up for Avengers #211 waaaaay back when...and the new team turned out to be Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Yellowjacket and...Tigra. About a year later, I was psyched around #222 or so. The cover said "who will be the NEW Avengers" and featured strange picks like Wolverine, ROM and Dazzler. Turned out to be Hawkeye..and She-Hulk. Wow, way to shake things up! You're right on about the core group. That's the majority of who has consistently been featured in the book! Aside from the crappy 1993-1994 years of Black Knight, Herc, Sersi, Crystal, etc (although Vision and Cap were around! And I consider Herc to be a fringe member of the core). It's usually been the core group and maybe one new member every five years (Starfox, Capt. Marvel, Rage, Triathlon, Annoying Shit Justice, etc.)
After Dr. Strange's arrival, I thought of Dr, Druid, Morgan LeFay or Loki as the "mastermind". But all 3 of those would lack significance for what's supposed to be a big shake-up. If you've been checking out "Captain America and the Falcon" then, yeah, a Scarlet Witch heel turn seems like a good pick. I'm sorry Hawkeye bought it, though. Kurt Busiek is on record somewhere as saying that if Hawkeye ever died, he'd bring him back ASAP. Which leads me to my next point...
Stuff like Identity Crisis just proves that most modern creators are trying to get back to the status quo of the late 70's/early 80's (both DC and Marvel). Look at the main characcters and storyline of ID Crisis...it could have taken place in 1981. On one hand it's funny how all the supposedly "big changes" of the mid 80's and 90's have been negated. Hal Jordan is coming back. Green Arrow's Grell period has been skipped over. Krypto's back. The bottle city of Kandor returned. Despite the Atom's barbarian and teenaged days, he's back to 1979. Even Elongated Frickin' Man is back to his old 70's costume. Vic Stone was blown up and cured..but now he's back to Cyborg 1984. If the last time you picked up a DC book was right before Crisis on Infinite Earths..you'd be set to jump back in and not miss a beat. You might ask "where's Barry Allen"...but you'd get over it. That's why I'm excited about "Disassembled"-- I'll enjoy a different take on Avengers until the title's reset to Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Pym, Vison, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man and Hawkeye in 2006.
Oh, Wargames? Didn't Blackmask DIE in No Man's Land?!
Avengers Disassembled: I'm a big Bendis fan, but so far, it hasn't really thrilled me. I'm waiting for the new arc to begin so Bendis could write some more Luke Cage.
War Games: This crossover is ok, but it's not great. I'll be glad when it's over, and I can go back to reading my regular bat-books.
Identity Crisis: This is the one book that's lived up to the hype for me. Meltzer STILL writes the best Green Arrow.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
And also keep in mind that these figures are nothing compared to the sales figures of the 80s and 90s. The speculation market of the 90s, for instance, drove many books well above 1 million sold and popular books sold many more issues each month than they do now.
Kids still read comics, just Japanese ones and not American ones.
Dammit, I guess my "Black Mask is the Identity Crisis killer" theory is out the window. Because he wears a MASK and thus is having a CRISIS with his IDENTITY. Man I'm sharp.
Seriously, my money is on Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond). There must be some reason why he's not in the new Firestorm ongoing series. My crazy wild crackpot theory, at least after the first issue of IC, was that Sue faked her death in order to give Ralph a real challenge for his yearly birthday mystery, but now that's probably not going to happen without pissing off every fan in comicsdom.